RIP: Tony Benn – “We’ll never have Democracy as long as Big Business can buy Both Parties

British socialist stalwart Tony Benn dies at 88 (via AFP)

Political foes and allies paid tribute to Tony Benn, the totem of the British left who spearheaded the movement against the Iraq war, following his death on Friday aged 88. A Labour cabinet minister in the 1960s and 1970s, Benn was a widely respected…


The Guardian: “Tony Benn: ‘It’s questionable whether we have a democracy’ ”

4 Responses

  1. I’m sure it’s familiar to you and your readers, but it’s worth quoting again, his five questions: ” If one meets a powerful person–Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates–ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.”

  2. Although I had admired Tony Benn from afar, a few years ago I had the good fortune to share a platform with him at the University of London to address a very large crowd of students. When talking to him after the lecture, it was as though I had known him all my life. He was so modest, kind and approachable that one instantly felt at home. When I said how wonderful it was to see that so many people had come to listen to lectures about peace and to campaign against war, he said: “Never forget that we are in majority. People instinctively prefer peace over war. They are only pushed to war as the result of massive propaganda and misrepresentation. All we need to do is to organize, to believe in ourselves and never to give in.” May he rest in peace!

  3. I liked Tony Benn I thought he spoke a lot of sense regarding political and social issues. He was a man of the people I think who was much maligned by the media in his political life. He was right we don’t have true democracy we can’t elect our head of state and we don’t have a written constitution which is one of the areas he spoke about many times. He I think wanted a Republic as he thought that more democratic which I agree with. My husband saw him some years ago at a Labour party meeting he was the main speaker. Some of the people present did not altogether agree with his views but many wanted to hear his oratory. Tony Benn was a radical yes and he did not always gel with same of the members of his own party. But I personally think he would have made a good Labour leader and maybe made changes in our system politically and socially. I also agree with Farhang Jahnpour’s comment approachable and I think was a genuine person who cared about people and not just the advancement of his own political agenda in politics. Tony Benn was the old school of socialism who tried to bring about a fairer society and give ordinary people more democracy in our society which I completely agree with

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